Paul Lebrun, Blanc De Blancs Extra Brut, Jules, Champagne, France, 2012
Nathalie Vignier only makes Blanc-de-Blancs Champagne, but not any old Blanc-de-Blancs. As co-owner and winemaker at Champagne Paul Lebrun, she is fortunate to own some of the best Chardonnay terroir in Champagne.
Nathalie, is the sixth generation of her family to make wine in Cramant (although her family’s ties to Champagne date as far back as the 16th century). Her grandfather, Paul Lebrun, was one of the first vignerons to break away from the big négociants after the Great War and established his own brand, Champagne Paul Lebrun, in 1931. Nathalie is all about terroir. Together with her brother, she owns 16.5 hectares distributed across the Côte des Blancs and the Côte de Sézanne, including 3 Grand Cru and 2 Premier Cru villages. The jewel in the crown is Cramant, which was one of the first villages of the Côte des Blancs to be classified Grand Cru. The chalky clay soils of Cramant give richness and power to the wines. By contrast, the Côte de Sézanne (in reality an extension of the Côte des Blancs but more often referred to as one of the 5 sub-regions of Champagne) is dominated by chalk and marl. Its more southerly location and heavier soils giver riper and more fragrantly fruity wines. The soil is made up of silex stones, which collect the heat of the sun during the day, redistributing it to the vines at night. Nathalie is also about family. Her aim is to preserve and improve upon her family’s legacy in order to hand over in turn to her son Joseph. This is reflected in the range of Hérédis-Terres wines, which celebrates key winemaking figures in her family.
70% comes from the Côte des Blancs where the chalky soils contribute to the wines crisp acidity and mineral character. 30% comes from Coteaux du Sézannais and the Vindey vineyard where the clay and limestone soils provide a balance between fruitiness and structure in the wines.
70% of the wine is vinified in stainless steel tanks and unusually, 30% in oak barrels. Aged on the lees for 9 years before the Extra Brut Dosage of 5gr/L.
Type: 205, 228, 500 and 600 Litre
% wine oaked: 30
% new oak: None
With a marked stone fruit character on the nose, with peach, nectarine as well as apple and quince, with a hint of honey and delicious pastry notes and citrus. Dry but with lovely texture, mouthfeel and zippy acidity. The finish is crisp, with chalky notes, toast and lemon zest.
You don't want to overpower this wine and lose the lovely complexity to the food, so keep it simple with some roast chicken dauphinoise potatoes, summer truffles and chanterelles.
6 x 75cl